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Best Patriots Team Ever: The 2004 Squad

Or so says Tim Graham, the AFC East blogger over at ESPN's NFL Nation Blog. Charged with selecting the best team from each AFC East franchise, Graham picked the 2004 squad as the Patriots' representation, edging out the 2007 team.

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But 2004 stands apart. The Patriots claimed their third Vince Lombardi Trophy in four seasons to establish themselves as one of the all-time great teams. Brady and head coach Bill Belichick ensured their place in Canton.

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The Patriots picked up where they left off after winning Super Bowl XXXVIII the year before. They increased their win streak to an NFL record 21 games. They ranked fourth in scoring and second in points allowed. They lost two games all season, Week 8 at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Week 15 at the Miami Dolphins.

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Graham lists the teams from 2007, 2001, 2003 and 1976 as honorable mentions, so now I ask you: which team was the best ever in the history of the Patriots franchise?